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Effective Ways for Intranet Adoption

What is Intranet adoption?

Adoption is about how well your digital workplace platform – that includes your intranet, social tools like Yammer, connected apps, tools, and processes – will be received by your staff. Just because you made it available doesn’t mean employees will gravitate to it automatically.

Why does it matter?

What good is a system if it isn’t used effectively? Adoption is key for an intranet solution’s success, and planning and knowledge are key to success. In the planning phase decide what problems you are trying to solve, whose problems you are trying to solve and how you will solve them. Every product offers different features. Evaluate the features and decide which product can help you achieve your goals. Educate yourself on the product offering and learn how to tailor it to your organization’s needs to bring business value.

What are the issues?

Many intranets have low to moderate levels of usage. Users continue to use emails for communicating with other members and carry on extensive discussions. Unfortunately, such forms of communications do not add much value to the collective knowledge of the organization. Once the excitement after the deployment of a new intranet dies down, and staff has decided (emotionally rather than intellectually) whether they like it or not, managers and business stakeholders are left to wonder how to drive more traffic to it. On the other hand, managers expect to quickly see positive changes, even without putting in place a plan to train the staff or raise awareness of how important their engagement and contribution is to the work environment. Four common scenarios under which the adoption cracks down under strain are:
  • There is no training or appropriate level of communication to educate the employees about the potential benefits and criticality of its use.
  • In large organizations, there are many different use cases, not all of them equally applicable, so it is easy for many employees to fall through due to incorrect promotion of certain features.
  • When the solution is not well received or is not perceived as useful or valuable by all the staff of a global organization.
  • When measuring criteria of usage does not match the needs of people, the stakeholders are disappointed with low ROI. With ill-conceived expectations and inappropriate plan, the adoption slowly falters and cease to have momentum.

What are the best ways?

Phased approach

It is hard to satisfy the needs of the corporation as a whole in the first deployment and that may be a cause for dampened enthusiasm. It is best to divide your overall goal into chunks of manageable phases, each with its own focus like communications, training, forms routing /processing, and project /task management. Rather than promoting the product to all, select a group that has the most needs of a particular feature such as collaborating documents. Continue identifying groups and deploying feature by feature. It is easy to measure the value a business process and fine tune the process when it is confined and its application is well understood. With success in each phase, employees begin to recognize its value and start relating to their own work. Slowly, a culture slowly emerges where efficient practices are conceived and become part of the routine for most employees.

Advocates

Identify a few influential people in the organization like managers, business stakeholders and employees who will energize the movement, set an example and motivate others to follow suit.

Content

Emphasize the benefits of valuable content and encourage employees to create and share information and knowledge that others can use in their work. Employees are drawn to good, useful content that they can find easily and which they can use to enhance their productivity.

Evaluation

Evaluate the effectiveness of the intranet by measuring it against business benefits you expected to meet. This appraisal must be conducted at regular intervals over a pre-determined period of time to see how increments in the features over time have affected the ROI.
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